Spotlight | Brandon Proctor On Mixing Blockbusters In Dolby Atmos

We partnered with Dolby to bring you an inside look

Brandon Proctor


Brandon Proctor is a CAS Award-nominated Re-Recording Mixer known for his work on Black Panther (2018), A Quiet Place (2018), Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey (2020), and A Quiet Place Part II, which is set for release in 2020. We had the pleasure of chatting with Brandon about how he used Dolby Atmos to make audiences feel like part of the action in Black Panther and A Quiet Place.

How Much Did You Use Atmos While Mixing Black Panther?

We used Atmos extensively while mixing Black Panther. We started with it in the design process, so it actually became part of the fabric that we were working with. Music-wise, we had a lot of higher-sounding instruments in the Atmos speakers, like the women’s choir, the higher strings and the reverb returns. We really tried to focus on how to make the music sound as wide as possible, which was fun and interesting.

Did You Take The Same Approach With A Quiet Place?

Mixing A Quiet Place was kind of the inverse approach. We always had an ambience or something specific for the other speakers that was not unique to one environment. So when that ship goes by, it’s actually already in the background environment. And because we’re using specific sounds that are different from the sides, the sound field is even lighter.

Does Atmos Provide More Creative Flexibility?

What I can do with sound in Atmos is a totally different beast than it was in 5.1 or 7.1. In A Quiet Place I used the subwoofers in all the speakers. I actually upmixed the subs when the creatures above are running back and forth to create a rumbling feeling. This is stuff you couldn’t do before.

Does It Take Extra Time To Mix In Atmos?

To be honest, if you’re thinking about it during the design process before you even get to the mix stage, it doesn’t take too much longer at all. If you keep it native and keep all the sounds ready to go, you have a lot more flexibility. Dolby is making it easier and easier to connect to the Atmos panners, so you can do it as early as possible.

What's Your Workflow For Downstream Mixes?

I just got off of another film called Triple Frontier where we created all of our deliverables using an Atmos render. We had so much in the ceiling speakers that would have taken a lot of work if we didn’t have the render, and it did a really good job. And having the flexibility to decide what falls forward and what falls back is helpful. Sometimes you’ll stick something in the upper speaker and you might want it to fall down to the surrounds instead of the front. It’s actually working out really well with renders.

“What I can do with sound in Atmos is a totally different beast than it was in 5.1 or 7.1... This is stuff you couldn't do before.”
“What I can do with sound in Atmos is a totally different beast than it was in 5.1 or 7.1... This is stuff you couldn't do before.”

Proctor's go-to console

The Avid S6

A barrier-to-entry for most Dolby Atmos or DTS:X studios, the Avid S6 and S4 control surfaces can bring lightning-fast productivity to any workflow.

From Sony to Universal and every studio in between, Avid’s S6 and S4 consoles have become an industry standard for mixing Immersive Audio. We sell and install more of them than anyone else in the world. Learn how we can help you upgrade your studio.

More Dolby Atmos Stories

What do Quentin Tarantino, Stephen Spielberg, and Christopher Nolan have in common? They all come to Inventure Studios for 70mm mixes. We designed, built, and integrated their Dolby Atmos mixing room, featuring an S6 Control Surface.

Take a peek into our production warehouse as we design and test Atmos mixing rooms & editing bays for a 20+ room facility featuring several S6 Control Surfaces.

Marti Humphrey, founder of The Dub Stage, walks us through his immersive audio mixing stage which features a total of 34 Meyer surround speakers.

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